Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack has announced the first themed message, Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables, supporting the new MyPlate food icon and First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative through a new national private-sector partnership program.
"We know that consumers are inundated with multiple nutrition messages that it make it difficult to focus on changes that are necessary to improve their diet," said Secretary Vilsack. "USDA is committed to helping Americans make healthier food choices and our MyPlate symbol is a great reminder to think before we eat. By working with our national partners we can coordinate and amplify efforts to promote healthy eating tips like 'Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables' that serve as easy to understand reminders that we can all incorporate into our daily lives."
USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion has called upon its 44 National Strategic Partners and over 3,500 Community Partners to amplify this message nationwide. The National Strategic Partners, in an attempt to extend this healthy eating message to the general public, have adopted a day during the month of September to promote Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables. A calendar showing the name of each National Strategic Partner that has adopted a day along with contact information may be downloaded at www.cnpp.usda.gov/AdoptADay.pdf.
National Strategic Partners are organizations, such as major corporations and associations that are national in scope. Community Partners are organizations, such as health clinics, schools, gyms and weight loss centers, churches, doctors, etc., that serve local, state or regional individuals and families. To learn more about the partnership programs, go to www.choosemyplate.gov/Partnerships/index.aspx.
Originally identified in the Child Obesity Task Force report which noted that simple, actionable advice for consumers is needed, MyPlate will replace the MyPyramid image as the government's primary food group symbol as an easy-to-understand visual cue to help consumers adopt healthy eating habits consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. MyPyramid will remain available to interested health professionals and nutrition educators in a special section of the new website.
The basis of the federal government's nutrition education programs, federal nutrition assistance programs, and dietary advice provided by health and nutrition professionals is formed by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which were launched in January of this year.